Study for Christ in the Wilderness.
 Kramskoĭ, Ivan Nikolaevich, 1837-1887	

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Title:Study for Christ in the Wilderness

Ivan Kramskoi was a Russian artist who focused on portraying the complex humanity of his subjects. The poet and cultural critic, Rainer Maria Rilke, was profoundly affected upon seeing Kramskoi's painting of Christ in the Wilderness. "The painting portrayed a lonely Jesus sitting on a stone in a desert, lost in melancholy meditation. "Russian art does not become more narrow with its growing nationalism," Rilke concluded. On the contrary, "it may be in a better position to express the higher human universals if it completely abandons everything foreign, accidental, and un-Russian." Rilke's advocacy of Russian nationalism has often been misinterpreted by his critics. He was not proposing a return to the confines of a cult or mindless ritual, but he believed in art as a channel or a a system of canals for focusing generally unformed national feelings and intuitions. To be authentic, Russian artistic images had to be intimately linked with millions of individual Russian souls." [from: Rilke's Russia: A Cultural Encounter, Anna A. Tavis. Northwestern University Press, 1997. p. 77. ]

Date:c. 1872
Artist:Kramskoĭ, Ivan Nikolaevich, 1837-1887

Scripture:Luke 9:51-62
Lectionary links:CLent01
General Subject:Temptation of Christ

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Copyright Permission:This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial ShareAlike 3.0 License. In short: you are free to use and to share the file for non-commercial purposes under the conditions that you appropriately attribute it, and that you distribute it only under a license compatible with this one. For uses other than the above, contact the Divinity Library at
Attribution:Kramskoĭ, Ivan Nikolaevich, 1837-1887 . Study for Christ in the Wilderness, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved August 12, 2020]. Original source:
Record Number:54213 Last Updated: 2017-12-21 08:52:07 Record Created: 2009-02-10 08:52:57
Institution:Vanderbilt University Unit: Collection: Art in the Christian Tradition

Bibliographic Source:Rilke's Russia: A Cultural Encounter
Author:Tavis, Anna A.
Publisher:Northwestern University Press